Eliminating barriers to organ donation registration

Dr. John Gill
Integrating registration for organ donation into routine health care encounters

Canadians have made it overwhelmingly clear they support organ donation, yet this does not translate into eventual donation. Our deceased organ donor rate is around 15 per million people. This ranks us 23rd in the world behind countries such as Croatia, Puerto Rico and Latvia. Dr. John Gill is a renowned researcher in the field of kidney transplantation and a respected nephrologist. He is also an advocate for increasing organ donation. Dr. Gill and his team propose eliminating one potential barrier by getting health care providers to discuss organ donation with patients during routine health encounters. His project will establish protocols and quantify their effect on the rate of organ donation. By “normalizing” the conversation around organ donation, much as the medical system in BC has done with routine HIV testing, Dr. Gill believes we can greatly enhance organ donation rates.

A new source for kidneys?

Dr. Chris Nguan
Development of Multi Allograft Kidney Organ (MAKO) units from nephrectomy specimens for meeting kidney transplant donor supply

With kidney transplant waitlists in BC up to ten years long, one of the province’s leading urologic surgeons is hoping to find a potential new source of kidneys. Dr. Chris Nguan’s primary clinical focus is renal transplantation but he has a keen interest in advanced technologies research. He believes a potential new source of kidneys could be those that are removed for reasons such as kidney stones, obstruction and small tumors. Even though only part of the kidney is damaged, the entire organ is usually discarded. Initial research has shown some of these discarded kidneys can be successfully repaired and transplanted. Dr. Nguan and his team want to go one step further by taking smaller portions of disease-free discarded kidneys and devise surgical techniques to reassemble them into a whole functioning organ. These reassembled kidneys can then be used for transplantation.